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Re: Let's Package jQuery: A Javascript Packaging Dystopian Novella

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Let's Package jQuery: A Javascript Packaging Dystopian Novella
Date: Sat, 02 May 2015 15:34:20 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Christopher Allan Webber <address@hidden> skribis:

> I looked into trying to package jQuery, and it turned out to be quite
> the challenge, much larger than I expected:

Insightful post!

> In short, this is another instance where per-language packaging has
> helped things grow to a fairly insane state.  I'm not sure how we can
> ever get jQuery packaged.  This is a shame, because many free software
> web applications (including MediaGoblin) depend on it.  To make matters
> worse, I'm sure nearly all modern javascript libraries are like this.

This is terrible.

As an aside, I’m surprised npm creates nested ‘node_modules’ directories
rather than just a flat directory.  It sounds as if at run-time there
could be several variants of the same module being used, something that
most languages do not support (for instance, in Guile, there can only be
one (foo bar) module loaded in a given process.)

> I'm not really sure what this means for Guix and libre web application
> in the future.  I'd really like Guix to shine there... but this seems
> like a tough thing to overcome.

Well, presumably ‘guix import npm’ would be a first step (I hear Dave is
motivated ;-)).

But then, and that also applies to the other importers, we really need
to think hard about updating already imported packages because nobody
wants to update those 265 dependencies manually.

Then again, I don’t know what the cost/benefit tradeoff is.  We get good
integration, transactional upgrades, etc. if we have these Node and JS
things available as Guix packages, but packaging and maintaining all
that is an endless, huge endeavor...


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